Climate Change And National Security

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Climate change is quickly becoming a global issue and a national security threat. This phenomenon has been linked to the current drought in East Africa, extreme rainfall in France, and the steady incline of the global surface temperature. Scientific predictions have forecasted mass displacement and large famine, indicating a grave future for the world if current climate trends continue. Multitudes of people will be displaced and natural resources will be wiped out. Specifically studying the United States, climate change would adversely influence its infrastructure. America’s national security groundwork will be affected through the weakening of its military resources and the inevitable chaos from the citizens of the country, allowing a chance …show more content…
Specifically looking at infrastructure, higher temperatures in the summer combined with lower temperatures in the winter will contribute to higher energy use to heat and cool homes and businesses. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the net expenditure in annual heating and cooling costs could increase by $57 billion by the end of the century. Besides energy costs, scientists predict that with a rise in the global temperature there will be one to three foot change in the sea level by 2100. This doesn’t seem like much, but in the U.S. alone, 3.1 million people would be displaced by this event. With this rise in water levels, major coastal entities would be impacted. Transportation industries on the coast, such as airports, harbors, trains, and roadways, would be unusable. Evacuation routes would be blocked, and the need for public assistance would be high. Climate change will also influence natural resources. Electricity demand will rise by 10-20% by 2050, costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars in investment of new energy systems.7 Droughts cause by climate change will cause the availability of cooling water in power plants to be in question. Water resources for most of the southern regions of America will be stressed due to frequent heat waves, and due to this, less crops will be grown, increasing the price of food, and possibly creating …show more content…
To begin the process, a panel of eleven retired three-star and four-start admirals and generals met in 2006 to discuss the impact of climate change on the national security of America. They found that climate change presents significant national security challenges for the United States. This was only the beginning of the Department of Defense’s involvement with climate change. In 2008, the United States Intelligence Committee wrote a report on climate change, discussing its involvement with national security. This later led to the Department of Defense acknowledging the need for strategic approach to the impacts of climate change in its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. Most recently, the Fourth Quadrennial Defense Review, created in 2014, grouped climate change risk into two categories, physical impacts and indirect impacts. The physical impacts are the effect climate change will have on the facilities of the U.S. Military, combined with the availability of natural resources that it needs to run. Natural resources will play an important role in defending the national security of America. If there is no oil available from other countries because they have been affected by climate change, then the military needs to have a plan to operate without those entities. These impacts are discussed in this report. In addition, the report found that

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